Northern Myanmar fighting displaces almost 50,000 civilians: UN

YANGON: Almost 50,000 people have been displaced by fighting in northern Myanmar after an alliance of ethnic armed groups launched an offensive against the military two weeks ago, the United Nations said Friday.

“As of 9 November, almost 50,000 people in northern Shan were forced into displacement,“ the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in an update.

Fighting has raged for two weeks across northern Shan state near the Chinese border, posing the biggest military challenge to the junta since it seized power in 2021, analysts say.

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Arakan Army (AA) say they have seized dozens of military outposts and blocked vital trade routes to China.

The remoteness of the rugged, jungle-clad region — home to pipelines that supply oil and gas to China — and patchy communications make it difficult to verify casualty numbers in the fighting.

A further 40,000 people have been displaced by clashes between the military and its opponents in neighbouring Sagaing region and Kachin state since early November, UNOCHA said. – AFP